Contrary
to popular myth, Einstein did not usher in the atomic age, in fact,
he found the idea of atomic energy to be silly, ^{217} nor was
Einstein the first to state the mass-energy equivalence, or *E =
mc*^{2}.^{218} Myths such as Einstein's supposed
discoveries are not uncommon. Newton did not discover gravity, nor did
he offer a viable explanation for it, nor did he believe that matter
attracted other matter. . . . It appears that the physics community and
the media invented a comic book figure, "Einstein", with "*E
= mc*^{2}" stenciled across his chest. . .

In
anticipation of Thomson, De Pretto and the Einsteins, S. Tolver Preston
formulated atomic energy, the atomic bomb and superconductivity back
in the 1870's, based on the formula *E = mc*^{2}, where *celeritas*,
"*c*", signifies the speed of light. Pursuing Le Sage's theory,
Preston believed that mass could be attenuated into aether, thereby
releasing a tremendous store of energy; since aether particles move
at light speed--a limiting velocity, the energy store is equal to mass
times the square of the speed of light. Albert Einstein never even came
close to such insights. . . .

Maxwell's
equations implicitly contain the formula *E = mc*^{2}.
Simon Newcomb pioneered the concept of relativistic energy in 1889.^{224}
Preston, J.J. Thompson,^{225} Poincare,^{226} Olinto
De Pretto,^{227} Fritz Hasenohrl,^{228} [etc. etc. etc.]
each effectively (Albert Einstein, himself, did not expressly state
it in 1905), or directly, presented the formula *E = mc*^{2},
before 1905, and Max Planck^{229} refined the concept in 1906
- 1908, including Newton's^{230}, Bessel's^{231} and
Eotvos'^{232} implications that inertial mass and gravitational
mass are equivalent -- before Albert Einstein.

Alexander
Bain expressly stated in 1870 that,

"matter, force, and inertia, are three names for substantially the same fact"

and,

"force and matter are not two things, but one thing"

and,

"force, inertia, momentum, matter, are all but one fact".^{239}